Tanha (Gimme gimme, gimme, I need, I need)

God, What About Bob is a spectacular movie and if you haven’t watched it in a while, you might should do that.

Yesterday I went climbing for the first time in over five years. I didn’t realize it had been so long, but it has and I find that terribly strange. The last time I went was well before Cole was born. Five years. The speed at which time flies frightens me. But I went, and I’m glad I did. Yoga may take a backseat to climbing. It’s that good.


On to the Second Noble Truth, which should be the point of this blog. This truth explains why existence is defined by suffering. In the First Noble Truth, we established that all beings suffer. Some have more than their fair share, some have less. But it defines existence. Now what Buddha explains is where that suffering comes from. Can’t know where we’re going ‘til we know where we’ve been, right? That doesn’t really make sense in that context does it? Sorta. Let’s move on.

The origin of suffering, Buddha says, is craving. Our desire, our want… this is the very beginning of why we suffer. We’re attached to wanting more, aren’t we? And we want more of everything. Good meal? Moooooore, please. Good love? Gimme, gimme, gimme. We desire for sense pleasure (kama tanha), desire to become (bhava tanha) and desire to get rid of (vibhava tanha).

Even when we’ve obtained something we continue to desire. We always want more. Uncontrolled desire results in greed, addiction, and greater levels of suffering. No matter how successful we are or what we attain, we’ll never be satisfied. We go through lives grabbing at stuff and ideas, trying to fill ourselves with something more than…. self. It doesn’t work.

Summary of what we’ve learned: Existence is riddled with suffering in all its forms and the origin of the suffering is attachment to desire. Coming up: What do we dooooo with this?

Peace, Love, and I Still Want an iPhone



Filed under Buddhism

3 responses to “Tanha (Gimme gimme, gimme, I need, I need)

  1. Jamie Seay

    Keep sailing Bob.

  2. Aubrey

    I still hurt, crave, whine, bitch, question, and desire. But what I have discovered is that even when I’m assy and less than a curled pinky away from punching a nun, praising God changes everything. Just simple worship. Although most times it’s not ‘simple’ because I am an ass; I don’t want to or merit it – I desire it. When I just stop – and yeh, force myself into worship, I stop needing. I stop thinking about self. I am guided into a selfless attitude that changes my entire perspective. It’s amazing how taking the attention off “self” naturally creates satisfaction.

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